Reducing Underage Drinking among South Florida Teenager was a 3 year randomized clinical trial examining the effect of alcohol prevention Short Message Services (SMS or “text messaging”) on adolescent risky behaviors. This project is funded by the WARE Foundation and is collaboration between C-BIRG and the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Miami Children’s Hospital. The patients are predominantly Hispanic, and the text messages are available in both English and Spanish.
Adolescent Behaviors & Lifestyle Behaviors (Alcohol) was a 5 year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). ABLE provided school-based individual substance abuse assessment and intervention to minority adolescents across high schools in Dade County. The aim of the study was to examine the efficacy of school-based motivational interviewing for reducing alcohol use and alcohol-related negative consequences among Hispanic adolescents. Approximately 540 students participated in the study, and their post-intervention substance use trajectories was tracked for 9 months.
Adolescent Behaviors & Lifestyle Behaviors 2 (Marijuana) was a 2 year randomized controlled trial designed to develop and test a school-based, brief motivational interviewing intervention for marijuana using, Hispanic/Latino 10th and 11th graders. The ethically/racially diverse sample, implementation with a non-treatment seeking population, and examination of putative mechanisms of change contributed to the significance of this RCT. The study focused on examining the efficacy of brief motivational intervention for reducing marijuana use and marijuana-related negative consequences among minority adolescent marijuana users.
Alcohol Treatment Targeting Adolescents In Need was a 5 year, $2.4 million project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) which provided individual and family community-based interventions primarily to Hispanic/Latino and African-American adolescent offenders with alcohol and drug problems. Maintaining community-based clinics was an important component as we tried to overcome barriers that had prevented minority youth and their families from participating in interventions in the past. The aim of the study was to develop more effective interventions for adolescents, and particularly minority juvenile offenders, with alcohol problems. Juvenile offenders with substance use problems showed higher rates of offending, more violent offenses, and more chronic substance use problems. While little was known about the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment for juvenile offenders, behavioral, family and motivational interventions showed the greatest promise in the few studies performed to date.
Guided Intervention for Real Life Skills was a 2 year, $350,000 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The GIRLS program provided school-based individual substance abuse assessment and intervention to at-risk adolescent girls across high schools in Dade County. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a brief school-based individual therapy program (5 to 6 weeks) using a combination of Motivational Interviewing and Guided Self Change protocaols for reducing adolescent girls’ problems with alcohol and drug use. Approximately 164 students participated in the study, and their post-intervention substance use trajectories was tracked for 6 months.
Group Enhancement for Teens in Treatment was a NIAAA-funded 2 year project to understand factors influencing group treatment effectiveness among adolescents with AOD problems. The project examined the influence of conduct disorder (CD) in group composition (i.e., proportion of CD among group members), disruptive behavior in group (i.e., antisocial behavior and deviancy training), and group leader behaviors (i.e., negative and positive) on changes in AOD use over time. The study tested whether the interactions of group leader behaviors with group disruptive behavior mediate changes in the trajectory of AOD behaviors over sessions and through follow-up. The ultimate aim of the project was to improve group approaches to adolescents with AOD problems.
Brief Intervention for Substance Using Native Youth was a 5 year project devoted to reducing substance use problems among Native American teens in Oklahoma. SACRED Connections is short-hand for Self-Awareness Creates Responsible Empowered Decisions, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In collaboration with several local high schools, SACRED Connections will develop and evaluate a brief intervention specifically designed for reducing substance use problems among Native American adolescents. Dr. John Lowe (Florida Atlantic University) and Dr. Eric Wagner (Florida International University) lead the project.
Drug Free Youth in Town was a $50,000, 1 year project that was funded by the Florida Department of Health to evaluate the impact of inclusion in a positive peer club on cigarette smoking attitudes and behaviors among middle and high school students. DFYIT provided school-based prevention programming to several middle and senior high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Enhancing My Personal Options was a five-year NIAAA-funded research project designed to evaluate the efficacy of a brief intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors among adolescents in outpatient treatment for alcohol or other drug (AOD) use problems. The overall aim of the current project was to evaluate a developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive intervention program for decreasing sexual risk behaviors among adolescents undergoing outpatient treatment for AOD problems. During the course of this project, over 800 participants were randomly assigned to one of two intervention conditions: Guided Self-Change Intervention for HIV Risk Behavior + Treatment as Usual (GSC-HIV), or Treatment as Usual (TAU) provided by The Starting Place (TSP). This clinic-based intervention consisted of 4 individual-format sessions of HIV risk reduction counseling. Participants in GSC-HIV were assessed immediately before and after intervention, and at 3-, 6-, and 9-month follow-up contacts. A parallel assessment schedule was used for TAU participants. In addition, a parent or guardian completed a brief 15-minute assessment prior to the adolescent’s program entry, either at TSP or by telephone
Guided Adolescent Problem Solving was a 5 year, $1.75 million project funded by NIAAA. GAPS provided school-based individual interventions primarily to adolescents of Hispanic/Latino, African-American, and Haitian descent attending Miami-Dade County alternative high schools affiliated with Communities in Schools-Miami (CIS-M). The aim of the study was to develop more effective interventions for adolescents with alcohol and aggressive behavior problems. Adolescents attending alternative schools often presented with a combination of substance use and behavioral problems, including aggressive behaviors.
The Parent Communication with College Students about Alcohol Project was a 5 year longitudinal study in conjunction with Penn State University which is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The purpose of the PACT study is to gain a better understanding of parent-student communications, and how these communications influence students’ alcohol-drinking behaviors throughout their college years. We are also interested in learning about students’ drinking patterns, consequences they experience as a result of drinking, attitudes towards drinking, as well as risk and protective factors associated with college student drinking. The study gathers data from incoming FIU college student Freshman, as well as their parents, and follows them over a 4 year time-period.
Teen Intervention Project was a NIAAA-funded, $1.7 million dollar, 5 year project which represented a collaboration between FIU and the School Board of Broward County. TIP was investigating the effectiveness of school-based substance abuse group intervention for Broward County middle and high school students.
Teen Intervention Project-Cherokee was a NIAAA-funded, $100,000, 2 1/2 year project which represented a collaboration between FIU and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. TIP-C was testing the generalizability of our school-based substance abuse intervention with Native American middle and high school students.